Tag Archives: family meals

Kips Bay/Murray Hill Kids’ Birthday Party Venue

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

The Shake and Burger Bar is a newly opened family fun restaurant and unique kids birthday party venue right here in Kips Bay/Murray Hill.  Located on 3rd avenue between 25th and 26th streets, this is a great place for a family meal in a comfy setting with goodies for both kids (milkshakes) and parents (alcohol infused milkshakes!).

Our Visit

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday PartyKidz Central Station recently visited with our kids to check out the masssive over 3000 sq ft space and  try out the giant artistic masterpiece milkshakes.  When we arrived at 6:30PM on a Thursday, the restaurant was packed with both an after-work crowd and parents with young kids. We had a short wait for a table and the servers could not have been nicer or more accomodating.  Everyone here is extremely friendly and service was fast once we were seated. With music blasting and energetic chatter, it is a festive experience.

The Shake and Burger Bar is a great addition to this area of 3rd Avenue, which is becoming more and more family friendly with a NY Kids Club opening across the street, Modern Pinball, a 16 Handles location, and NYPL Kips Bay.  If you’re looking for a unique birthday party, you can’t go wrong with milkshakes, chicken tenders and Disney movies for the kids and happy hour sangrias and Stellas for the parents. With numerous big screen TVs scattered throughout playing sports or kid-centric movies, there is something for all ages.  We sat towards the back of the restaurant in a slightly elevated separated area that could easily host 15-20 kids while the parents could sit off in their own space with their nachos and drinks.  And our three kids really tested the limits of running around and playing tag in a crowded restaurant. And l should add that they also spilled a milkshake all over our table and the floor.  The super nice staff cleaned it up quickly and without complaint or shaming looks. Thank you!

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Happy Hour and Menu

Important into for our parents:  Happy Hour is Every Day 4pm-8pm.  This includes $4 Pint & $14 Pitchers of Stella, $4 Mixed Drinks, 1/2 Price Wings (one per customer), and all day $4 shots of Absolute Lime.  The menu is standard fare of wings, sliders, nachos, several types of burgers, and sandwiches. Everything we ate was delicious! The adults tried the veggie and salmon burgers and the kids ordered from the $7.50 Kids Menu (either 2 chicken tenders w fries or 2 cheeseburger sliders w fries).  

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

And, of course, the standouts are the magnificent milkshakes.  We’ll let the photos do the talking. 

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Kid friendly, awesome service, delicious food, and insane milkshakes! We’ll be back for Trivia Night on Tuesdays at 7:30PM.

3 Great Reasons to Eat As a Family (Healthy Recipes Too!)


Shared mealtime is not just a traditional family ritual, but is also beneficial for many mental and physical aspects of health. According to research from Rutgers University, an average American family spends about 40% of their budget on eating out. Here are three great reasons to make family mealtime a priority:

Decreased probability of weight problems later in life. Children in families who frequently share meals tend to have a lower body mass index than those who did not share meals—this is according to research from Rutgers that reviewed a multitude of studies measuring the frequency and atmosphere of shared meals compared to children’s risk of weight gain. Family meals are associated with increased consumption of fruit and vegetables while also associated with less consumption of fried foods, soft drinks, and other less healthy food options. The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics states that a child may be 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24% more likely to eat healthier foods, and 12% less likely to be overweight by sharing mealtimes.

Increased emotional well-being. The American Dietetic Association finds that family meals give structure to a child’s day and increase a child’s sense of security. In addition, they promote communication and family cohesion and make a positive impact on a child’s literary development and emotional well-being. A study by the University of Minnesota found that the frequency of family meals is actually a protective factor that may curtail high-risk behaviors among youth by easing everyday stress.

Greater academic achievement. Sharing family meals leads to improved vocabulary and reading skills in children, improved test scores, and decreased probability in taking drugs. The conversations had during family meal time improves a child’s vocabulary and conversational skills. As a result, test scores are improved in these children as well. According to a study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, teens who eat dinner with their family at most twice a week were four times more likely to smoke cigarettes than those who participated in family meals more frequently.

And eating together can and should be fun! Try these ideas as a family that your kids may love:

BREAKFAST:

Two-Ingredient Pancakes with Creamy Berry Topping
Blend together 1 egg and 1 banana. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, or even ground flaxseed into the mix for extra flavor and nutrition. Cook in cooking spray on a pan until golden brown. For topping, mix 0% Greek yogurt with mashed blueberries and raspberries or powdered peanut butter.

LUNCH:

Egg Muffins
In a muffin tin, crack an egg into each spot. Add mix-ins like diced tomatoes, onions, spinach, mushrooms, fresh herbs, goat cheese! These can be refrigerated for breakfast the next day.

DINNER:

Zucchini Noodles with Chicken or Tofu Kebabs
Use a spiralizer or veggie peeler to make “noodles” from a zucchini and boil for a few minutes. Top with tomato sauce and grilled kebabs made with tofu or chicken cubes, cubed bell pepper, onion, cherry tomatoes and a squeeze of lemon.

SNACKS:

Yogurt Parfaits
Have your kids layer these up! They will have fun adding their choice of healthy mix-ins.

6 oz 0% Fage Greek yogurt or fat-free Siggi’s
1/2 cup blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, bananas, etc.
1 T ground flaxseed
1 T slivered almonds or pistachios
Cinnamon, to taste

Peanut Butter Banana Rolls
1 whole wheat or brown rice tortilla topped with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 sliced banana. Roll up and cut into sushi-roll pieces.

Chia Seed Pudding
1 cup skim, coconut or almond milk + 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/4 cup berries. Let sit overnight! Optional add ins: Cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, nuts, coconut. Get creative and have fun with this!

Research suggests that children who take part in family meals eat healthier foods, have less delinquency, greater academic achievement, and improved mental well-being. However, the benefits vary based on the frequency of family meal times. The most positive health benefits for children can be seen from three or more days of shared family meals per week.

This research also states that the quality of family interactions is even more important than just the shared time together. For example, families who ate together while watching TV did not have the same improved dietary intakes as families who ate together at home and conversed.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Maria A. Bella, MS, RD, CDN is a 70 lb. weight loss success story who runs, lifts, and eats great food. She is a clinical Nutrition Coordinator at the Center for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Maria completed her Masters in Clinical Nutrition at New York University and her Dietetic Residency at NYU Langone Medical Center.

3 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy

happy family with two kids making dinner at homeIt’s important to many parents to find ways to get their kids to eat healthy—whether they have toddlers, young children, or teenagers. Healthy eating can improve energy level and focus, and even smooth out the moods of children and teens. If you’re looking for some easy strategies to improve your child’s eating habits, here are a few ways to make mealtimes healthier—and more pleasant—for your entire family.

Have regular family meals. Having a regular time for you and your children to eat together gives structure and predictability to the day. It is a chance for everyone to sit down together and catch up. Be sure to serve a variety of foods, such as lean meats and other sources of protein such as fish, eggs, and beans, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least five total servings of fruits and vegetables a day. If you can, catch a few moments together in the morning for breakfast before the school day starts. Dinner time is another great opportunity for the family to gather and share what happened during the day. If you don’t have time to cook, bring in prepared food—the structure of mealtime together is what’s important for you and your children. It emphasizes the importance of food and mealtimes for your children.

Get kids involved in the process. Your children may be more open to trying a new food (especially a fruit or vegetable) if they get to pick it out at the store.Children really enjoy going to the supermarket, selecting what goes in the cart, and helping to pack up and unpack the food items. The supermarket is also a good place for children to understand the nutritional values of different foods and, for older children, to learn to read the nutrition labels on foods. Children of all ages enjoy helping with cooking, from gathering ingredients, to reading recipes, to helping with the cooking process. Children are much more invested in eating something if they have helped to make the food. Older children will also enjoy giving input on what is packed for school lunches or what to prepare for dinner.

Make mealtime fun for the whole family. When you are planning meals, make sure to present a variety of foods in an attractive manner. Colorful dips and sauces may help to encourage your children to eat more fruits and vegetables, and fruit can be arranged on a kebab for a fun treat. Food can also be cut into unusual shapes and arranged in a fun manner on the plate to increase acceptance. If your child does not eat a certain food the first time, do not give up—children’s tastes continue to change over time. Just because your child does not love broccoli the first time, it doesn’t mean he or she will never eat it in the future. Make sure to try it again at a later time and perhaps prepare it a different way. Another great way to encourage your children to eat well is to eat well yourself! Kids follow their parents’ leads, so by maintaining a well-balanced diet and showing that you care about eating healthy, you send a message to your children that healthy eating is important for our minds and bodies.

By encouraging healthy eating habits now, you can make a positive impact on your children’s relationships with food and give them the tools they need to develop into healthy, confident, teens and adults.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Dr. Lisa Kotler is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and the medical director of the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center-New Jersey Office in Hackensack, NJ. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders and obesity in addition to anxiety and mood disorders and ADHD.